A South Sudanese government has been ordered by a military court to pay damages to foreign aid workers raped in a 2016 hotel raid on a hotel in the capital Juba, as well as to the family of a local journalist killed in the attack.
The case was widely seen as a test of will by the government of President Salva Kiir to bring accountability in the military that has long drawn accusations of widespread rights violations and a culture of impunity. The judge, Brig,-Gen. Knight Briano found 11 soldiers guilty of rape and murder during a rampage in the capital in 2016.
Gen. Briano delivered his judgment before a group of diplomats, aid workers and officials who have filled the military courtroom Thursday to hear the ruling.
The charges stem from the attacks in the Terrain Hotel in Juba in 2016, when dozens of soldiers broke into the compound, killed a local journalist and gang-raped five international aid workers while UN peacekeepers nearby did not respond to pleas for help.